3 Important Benefits of a Digital Document Management System (DDMS)

Over time, the manual storage and organization of credit information can be a daunting task and takes an incredible amount of storage space. Such a manual mode of storing and managing credit information lacks adequate security and is highly prone to being compromised or even destroyed without the possibility of backups.  Businesses are turning to Digital Document Management Systems (DDMS) that offer essential backup and information security capabilities at far less overhead.

Bectran’s DDMS provides a comprehensive digital solution that empowers companies to organize their credit documents for quick, easy and secured access and specifically tracks, monitors and maintain the integrity of time-sensitive documents.

Here are 3 important benefits of a DDMS:

Information Security

In a Digital Document Management System (DDMS), credit documents are organized and stored in secured digital media with backup capabilities. The DDMS allows access to documents by only authorized personnel. DDMS also provides granular access protection to specific information segments in a customer file. Often times, customer credit files hold private and personal sensitive data such as credit card and social security information. Such sensitive information is required by law to be securely stored to avoid compromise. Guaranteeing the integrity of private and personal sensitive information by manual systems of storage is almost impossible.

Information Access

Credit information is stored in customer files and referenced from time to time for credit reviews and audit trail purposes. In a manual document management system, access to credit information can be very tedious and time consuming. The DDMS organizes and stores customer information in digital files for quick and easy access. The DDMS offers instant digital access to customer information and provides browse and search capabilities for more precise information lookup. The quicker credit managers gain access to customer information, the faster they reach credit decisions required to authorize product shipments.

Compliance

A common frustration amongst credit managers is the need to keep up with compliance requirements of time-sensitive credit documents, such as Tax Exempt certificates and business licenses with expiration dates. The DDMS tracks, monitors and reports the expiration of time-sensitive credit documents using a collection of metrics. The DDMS also provides timely notifications to customers and other third parties to provide updated copies of expiring documents. Overall, the DDMS scans the pool of all time-sensitive documents and provides status updates with the goal of minimizing document dependent liabilities. The DDMS also offers E-Signature capability in compliance with the ESIGN Act of 2000.

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Every credit department, no matter the size of credit transactions processed, stands to benefit from implementing a DDMS. With little investment in DDMS, companies are able to cut down significantly on the costs of information access and improve the overall security of their credit documents.

Instant Credit Decisions Through Automation

Managing high volumes of credit requests (includes credit applications and requests for credit limit increases by existing customers) can be expensive for a company in terms of customer service quality and credit risk. Traditionally, with higher volumes of credit requests, companies tend to either hire more staff or lower the threshold for credit risk evaluation in order to cope with the volume. But even with increased staff, the processing capacity will still be limited by the efficiency of the underlying manual process. Thus generally, service quality and credit risk tend to degrade as the volume of credit requests increases.  However, with an intelligent automation solution, a company can process high volumes of credit requests without compromising credit risk and service quality at no additional staff overhead.

It’s also important to segment the credit requests into LOW and HIGH values. Low value credit requests typically range from $1,000 to $20,000 depending on the customer demographic. Processing low value credit requests manually when volume is high, say 200 plus credit requests per month, can be very time consuming and creates opportunities for sub-optimal credit assessments and errors that could portend a cumulative trend of significant credit risk. The typical profile of companies with High Volume, Low Value credit requests are companies that sell to lots of mom and pop or small and medium scale companies. With little public and bureau credit information on these class of customers, the expectation is that a more methodical data collection and risk assessment should be done to determine the credit worthiness of each customer.

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Given the need for thorough and methodical risk assessment in the High Volume, Low Value quadrant, a well-crafted and customizable automation solution would help significantly to lower the operating costs of processing and free up credit personnel capacity to concentrate on the Low Volume, High Value quadrant in addition to other more strategic credit risk management activities.

The Bectran Instant Decision Management(IDM) solution addresses high volume credit requests with improved credit risk management and high service quality delivery. With the Bectran IDM, companies are able to segment their customer base by risk and apply appropriate credit assessment and data requirement rules for automatic credit approvals. Thus, with IDM, customers are approved for credit within seconds of completing and submitting their credit application when the customer credit data passes the risk assessment threshold test.

The Value, Need for Objectivity & Gains of Automating Credit Reference Gathering

In order to establish appropriate credit limits/terms, businesses have relied on the mutual sharing of data to best predict future payment trends based on past payment history of service/product buyers (customers). This requires cooperation between businesses who have a mutual goal of getting paid on time.

Trade and Bank reference information presents a fair view of the capacity and the propensity of the customer to meet its payment obligations. It also provides a perspective of prevailing industry payment trends on a real-time basis. This type of data can be extremely valuable, especially in certain industries where limited information is available from the typical credit data reporting providers/agencies.

Obtaining References & their Credibility

While in theory analyzing reference data is a sound practice, the reality is that tracking down references can be very time consuming and cumbersome. The process requires personnel time to generate formal requests, monitor, track and manage information and data exchange. Therefore, entirely automating the reference process is key to saving time and energy through the credit process.

Additionally, most times companies tend to provide their best references (The references with whom they have good payment and business history) which presents a skewed and less balanced view of their overall credit performance with other vendors. Ideally, an objective spread of references, which may include bad references, will provide a more balanced and less skewed view of a customer’s overall credit performance.   Therefore, a sound framework for determining customer credit worthiness by references should incorporate a good spread of a customer’s credit experience with multiple vendors.

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Industry Trade References – Achieving a more objective credit reference

One solution to the fact that companies tend to provide their best references is the existence of industry trade groups. Various credit mangers of related industries will get together to exchange information based on the clients they are examining for credit. This allows credit managers to seek non-biased references independent from what the customer provides during the application process. This inherently allows for more informed decisions based on the added trade data.

Even though industry references can be extremely valuable, obtaining them can still be very tedious. Industry References would still be gathered using the same manual methods that customer-provided references would require. Therefore, it is advantageous to automate these references as well.

In Bectran, unlimited industry contacts can be added to your digital rolodex, which becomes the mailing list for credit reference inquiry.  Credit Reference inquiry from the digital rolodex can be performed on an on-demand basis or set up automatically for all new accounts/credit reviews. This capability makes it much easier to gather references as well as making it simpler for industry contacts to furnish credit reference details on mutual customers.

Overall, when customer-provided references and independent-industry contact references are automated, credit mangers have more information that is less biased at their fingertips in a decreased amount of time, leading to faster and more accurate credit decisions and increased productivity.

Accommodate Business Process Requirements with Adaptive Credit Workflows

Adapting the Credit Management Process to Your Company’s Unique Business Approach

From SMEs to major Fortune 500 companies across industries, there are often significant differences in credit management approaches. Such differences most times underscore the core strength of a company’s credit process. Often times, technology solutions impose standards and limitations that companies must adapt to with the consequence of losing the gains of the vital aspects of their traditional credit process. Thus, as much as technology solutions are often desirable, sometimes they lack the outcome of maximizing the intended benefits of their adaptation.

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Empower Sales/Customer Service Teams to upload Data and Vet Customers

In response to these industry-wide differences in the credit management process, Bectran created the Adaptive Workflow System, off the premise, “One Size Does Not Fit All”. With the Adaptive Workflow System, companies can configure the unique aspects of their credit process on their Bectran account while at the same time leveraging the baseline configurable universal credit management workflow. The Bectran Adaptive Workflow System addresses the unique work process needs of a company while at the same time offering them the power of a world class Credit Management work process.

For instance, the Bectran Adaptive Workflow System allows companies to set up and monitor pre-conditions and pre-verification steps by Sales and Customer Service Reps for new credit requests/applications. Such pre-verification steps could also require the specification of pre-defined static and dynamic information/document flows between Sales, Customer service and the Credit Department. With the Adaptive Workflow System, Bectran clients have empowered their Sales and Customer Service teams to provide much needed upfront data collection and vetting of customers applying for credit.

Monitor, Track and Report Performance Metrics

The Adaptive Workflow System also empowers companies to set up multiple conditions and paths for auto evaluation and approval of credit requests for instant decisions. With the Adaptive Workflow System, companies can define information, verification and specific routing rules between different classes of users in their company.

Another major feature of the Adaptive Workflow System is the localization of the credit process for local operating units within a global company. For instance, the Europe based subsidiary of a global company can configure unique processes applicable to their local market while at the same time leveraging the corporate baseline credit management work process.

The Adaptive Workflow System was designed to further enhance the power of the universal credit management work process on the Bectran platform. Better still, the Adaptive Workflow System tracks and records its performance with metrics, and provides the opportunity for fine tuning the Adaptive Workflow System set up for continuous performance improvement.